Going on a camping trip is not as easy as it sounds. Just packing your stuff and heading into the wilderness without any plans is a very big NO-NO! For a great and stellar camping trip, detailed planning will go a long way. Proper selection of camping gears and tools and locating the best campsite are just some of the basics in camping that a true camper should never forget.
When a survival adventurist plans to go on a survival camping trip, the first question that comes into mind for every camper adventurist is, how do we stay safe in the great outdoors? Another is, how do I get a good night’s sleep under the stars?
So, before going on to that great outdoor camping adventure, here are important and helpful tips for a safe camping trip and on how you can get a good shut-eye when the sun has set into the horizon.
Here are Tips for a Safe Camping Trip.
1. Check out your gear reviews
There may be more than a thousand camping gears that are being sold in the market today. While it is true that these camping gears that are available in the market can make outdoor camping more manageable and a lot easier, it is still wise to check the reviews of these camping gears. Search on what other people have to say on the particular camping gear product that you want to buy and decide if that gear is worth your hard earned cash or not. Checking out camping gear reviews is also a great help in avoiding impulse purchase. A simple Google search will do the trick!
2. Never forget camping essentials
If you are going on a camping trip, and you want to make sure that you will always stay safe in the great outdoors, then make sure to pack only the essential stuffs. There are a lot of stores that sells emergency first aid kits. But if you are not able to visit your local store to buy one, you can still assemble your basic first aid kit. Just bring along with you bandage supplies, antibiotics, vitamins, and medical creams for wound treatment. Camping stuffs such as small knife, lighter, flashlight with extra battery, whistle, and small mirror are also as important when going on a camping adventure. Then finally, to round off your must haves for a great camping escapade, you must also include in your camping bucket list some water purification tablets, collapsible water storage container, and extra tarp and nylon threads.
Here are camping essentials that’s a must for campers.
- First aid kit
- Water purification tablets
- Collapsible water storage container
- Extra tarp and nylon threads
- Small knife
- Flashlight with extra battery
- Small mirror
- Extra trash bag
3. Leave behind a copy of your itinerary to your loved ones
If you’ve seen the film 127 hours then you will know that letting some people know where you’re going and what you’ll be doing is really important. Tell them how many days you will be gone and leave your detailed itinerary to your trusted friends or family. Also, inform the local ranger in the area about your camping plans and ask where the restricted areas are. Make sure also that you have a special camping permit before you embark on your camping journey.
4. Check the campground’s pet policy
Before you plan to bring along with you your 4-legged companion, check first if it is allowed in the campground’s pet policy. Most camping grounds prohibit campers to bring their pets in the campsite. But there are some that allow pets in their campground (mostly privately owned campsites) with just a small fee. Check DogFriendly.com for the list of pet friendly campgrounds in your area.
5. Always arrive before nightfall
Even for an experienced camper, setting up camp in the dark can be a complicated one. The best way to start your camping adventure is to get a head start and set up camp while the sun is still up. This will also allow you to explore and check the surroundings, make fire, and prepare food before the dark sets in.
6. Follow fire safety protocol
Before setting up your fire in the camp, make sure that you have read and understood all of the fire safety protocols of the camping ground that you are in. The national nonprofit Tread Lightly offers campfire safety tips on how to build camp fire and how to contain it. Make sure also that before retiring for the night, your fire is out and has burned to ash.
7. Be prepared for animal encounter
The wildlife offers extreme surprises. So if you want your camping trip to go smoothly and without a hitch, better prepare yourself for unexpected animal encounters. Looting by animals is common in the wilderness. Bears, monkeys, squirrels, and sometimes crows loot camper’s stash without warning. Before going on a camping tour, check for precautionary warning signs that are posted in the area. There are also Bear lockers that are available at many campsites, so make sure to check on that too. The website of the National Park Services also provides helpful insights into avoiding such animal encounter scenarios.
8. Minimize your Eco-footprint
Be considerate to your fellow campers and to the environment. Make sure not to leave anything that you brought to the campsite most especially your trash. Always bring an extra trash bag for trash collection before going on a camping trip.
9. Learn How to Read a Map and How to Use a Compass
Sure, there are a lot of apps for camping survival that can be downloaded to your smart phones. But there is no assurance that where you’re going will have a cell service when you need it most. So, the most logical way in order not to get lost in the wilderness is by learning how to read a map and how to use a compass.
10. Check Weather Forecast
Before going on a camping trip, check first from your local weather stations about possible extreme weather warnings in your area. Check the USDA Forest Service Outlines about helpful safety tips regarding thunder storms, blistering heat, hurricanes, and other weather anomalies.
And Here Are Some Tips on How to Get a Good Night’s Sleep When Hiking
TIP 1: Consume Some Fat
Sleeping bags, blankets, and other heating devices are all important in keeping the body warm when one dreams of sleeping under the stars. But the most important tip to remember to really make sure that you will have a goodnight sleep during your hiking expedition is that your last meal before retiring for the night should be robust and fatty.
Having a robust and fatty meal allows the body to produce more heat. It doesn’t mean that you need to bring with you pork chops or steaks on the trail. Adding a good amount of butter in your chocolate drink will do the trick.
TIP 2: Take out your sleeping bag (ASAP!) once you arrive on camp
Your sleeping bag’s insulation properties will lose some of its abilities once it is squeezed together with your other camping essentials. So the best way to regain your sleeping bag’s lost insulation properties is to take it out as soon as you arrive on the campsite. Doing this will allow the sleeping bag to expand, regaining its properties back.
TIP 3: Dry Sleep Is Warm Sleep
Before you retire for the night, make sure that you are completely dry, dry as in from head to foot. If you can slip into fresh set of clothes before slipping in your sleeping bag, the better. You don’t want your damp and sweaty clothes to dry out due to your body heat while trapping the moisture in your sleeping bag.
TIP 4: Drink Warm, Not Hot
If you want to drink something before you sleep, do not drink hot water or cocoa. Warm drink is enough. It will warm your body but it will not get you sweating again.
TIP 5: Keep Bugs Away
How do you keep those dreaded buzzing bugs away in order to have a goodnight sleep? Here are few tips.
- Go dry and high.
- Do not camp near swamps, streams, or ponds.
- Never wear cosmetics and use perfume before sleeping.
- Use water resistant bug repellent.
- Put a branch or two of sage in your campfire. Bugs hate the smell of burning sage.
TIP 6: Alcoholic Drinks are a big NO NO!
Yes, alcohol can make you feel warm for about 30 minutes or so. But after the effects run out, your body will have a hard time keeping its temperature regulated. So instead of a goodnight sleep, you may end up awake the whole night.
TIP 7: Adapt to your Surroundings
Where’s the fun in hiking if you are always in your comfort zone? The best way to enjoy nature is to adapt to the surroundings. Use whatever Mother Nature has to offer and do things the old school way. The best way to do this is to research and read about the do’s and don’ts in hiking before embarking on that great outdoor adventure.